Change is normal. Some of it is not welcome. Some of it is. The difference is usually what we selfishly perceive the benefit to be. We are not so altruistic that we welcome change benefiting others when it calls for sacrifice from us.
When we resist change, we do well to check our thoughts, our emotions, our perspective and our bodies.
Thoughts – Am I thinking forward or in circles?
Emotions – Are my feelings about these matters driving me toward something helpful, or am I stuck in fear, anxiety or anger?
Perspective – Whose perspective am I carrying, mine alone or am I sharing God’s?
Bodies – Am I tense or calmly poised?
Please note how the list above corresponds to loving God with our mind (thoughts), our hearts (emotions), our souls (perspective-especially an eternal one), and our strength (use of our bodies).
Not all change is good, but much of it is. An excellent and reliable starting point when facing change is to first check in with ourselves and to make sure we are bringing our best gifts to the process for the glory of God. Otherwise, we will get stuck in:
- conversations that go round and round in circles, (poor thinking – mind)
- words we regret, whining, acting out in passive aggression, shouting or public melt-downs (ungoverned emotion – heart)
- proposals that only take care of right now, this year and short term (limited perspective – soul)
- physical symptoms of anxiety (not listening to what our bodies are telling us – strength)
Rather than loving God with these capacities, we demonstrate love for self. Our worship shifts.
To face, lead forward and then manage adjustments and shifts well, we want to embrace the changes we need and discard those we don’t. We can remain prepared through a robust prayer life. That discipline of prayer forges our perspective (cultivated soul), brings a sustained peace that a sovereign God ultimately controls all this (heart resolve), fosters our commitment to bring our best gifts and experience to the process (directed strength) and keeps us at peace with each other and ourselves — actually relaxed, reflective and comfortable with not knowing, at least not yet, as we get underway (focused mind).
Mark L. Vincent Ph.D, CCNL is CEO of Design Group International, an organizational development company he co-founded in 2001 to help organizations and their leaders transform for a vibrant future. He also facilitates CLA Leader2Leader groups in WI and IL.
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